BlackBerry maker to acquire encryption firm Staff

Research In Motion (RIM) has defeated VeriSign in an ongoing bidding war for encryption vendor Certicom Corp.

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Certicom said Tuesday that it agreed to be acquired by BlackBerry maker RIM. When the deal is finalized it would cost RIM $105 million for Certicom's encryption software, which secures mobile devices. The deal is subject to court and shareholder approval.

In December, RIM launched a hostile bid for Certicom, trying to trump VeriSign Inc.'s initial offer for the encryption vendor. But Certicom said Tuesday it was told by VeriSign that it would not match RIM's offer.

Certicom was founded in 1985 as Mobius Encryption. In 2003, The National Security Agency endorsed a public-key cryptography system for the first time when it announced it purchased a license for Certicom's elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) system. It uses the technology to secure its classified communications.

Elliptic curve cryptography differs from RSA's public-key algorithms. Elliptic curve systems require less processing power and storage space, according to a recent report from the Burton Group.

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